How to make an offer on a house

January 21, 2023

When buying a home for the first time, the process may be somewhat intimidating.

Can you give a lesser price instead of the one you are asking for? Do you need to speak with the seller’s attorney before telling them you want to purchase their house?

In this post, we examine the offer-making procedure for real estate and provide some suggestions on how to negotiate the best price when buying a home.

What steps are involved in placing an offer on a home?

Making an offer does not have to be challenging if you do a little planning beforehand. There are a few fundamental actions to take:

Before making any offers

There are a few things you need to be sure you have done before making your offer. The most crucial thing you will need to do is organize your cash.

Upon receiving your offer, the majority of estate brokers will want “proof of funds.” This establishes your sincerity as a buyer and stops individuals from making offers on properties they can not truly afford.

A “mortgage in principle” letter from your bank or a bank statement are acceptable forms of evidence of your financial stability. A mortgage agreement in principle shows that the mortgage provider is prepared to lend to you but is not a formal mortgage approval (which is contingent on the value of the property determined by the lender). If you are aware that you will need a mortgage, be sure to apply for a mortgage in principle as soon as you begin your search for a home. Once you locate a home that interests you, this will help you prevent delays.

Knowing which conveyancer you want to deal with before making an offer may also be very useful. If your offer is approved, you will be able to move swiftly, which may appeal to sellers.

Make your offer

Once you have discovered your ideal house and have evidence of financing in hand, it is time to submit an offer.

You must first contact the estate agent who is working on behalf of the seller via phone or in person. Then you may make them a verbal offer.

The estate agent will probably want further details, such as your “position,” from you (how soon you can move, how you are financing the sale, and whether you need to sell a property before you can buy). Additionally, they will need certain private information from you, including copies of your ID and the conveyancer’s contact details.

Follow-up with a written offer

Once you have spoken your offer out loud, be sure to follow up by sending it by email or in writing. This results in a written record of your offer and any correspondence between you and the real estate agent. By doing this, you can be confident that there will not be any misunderstandings when the estate agent presents your offer to the house seller.

Make sure the agent understands that the offer is “subject to survey” at this point. This implies that if any significant concerns arise throughout the survey, you will have the option to renegotiate or withdraw your offer. To have a written record of everything that is on the table, it might be helpful to ask the estate agent to make a list of all the furnishings and fittings that would be included in the purchase price.

Offer sent to the vendor

The estate agent will present your offer to the property owner after you have properly filed it. They will discuss your position as a buyer and if the price you wish to pay satisfies the seller’s requirements. They will contrast your offer with the others they have received if there are other prospective purchasers, too.


The vendor will probably need some time to consider things, but they ought to reply in a few days. They will either accept, reject, or make a counteroffer in response to your offer. If your offer is approved, the conveyancing procedure will follow. You have two options if your offer is rejected or countered: you may either leave or keep trying to bargain.

Advice: Speak with the estate agent to get their opinion if your first offer is rejected. They should be able to explain why the seller turned down your offer, whether they have received a greater offer, or if they are concerned about your chain of command. They may even inform you of the necessary increase in your offer.


You may choose to walk away from the transaction if you decide to make a counteroffer after haggling over the specifics with the seller’s estate agent. It is feasible to employ a buyer’s agent to represent you if you feel uncomfortable negotiating with an agent, but they will demand a fee.

Offer accepted

In a successful negotiation, your offer will be accepted. Your legal counsel will now start working on creating a contract.

Advice: After your offer is accepted, ask that the house be immediately pulled off the market. Until a contract is signed, your offer is not enforceable. By taking the house off the market, you will have less risk of being outbid by another bidder.

Is it better to make an offer below the asking price?

It may be challenging to balance providing too much money to avoid being rejected with offering too little money and running the risk of losing the property to another bidder when you are considering making an offer on a house.

Researching the local market, the price of the property you want to purchase, and the seller’s circumstances in-depth is the best way to address the issue.

Use the following inquiries as a starting point:

How many more buyers are interested?

The seller is probably not going to accept a lesser offer on their house if there is a lot of competition for it. The buyer could be ready to take less money, however, if you are the only one who has shown interest.

How many more properties like that are there?

The competition for this specific property will be less fierce if there are many comparable homes on the market rather than if it is a unique dream home. When there is significant competition, buyers often make higher offers.

How much have comparable properties sold for?

You should base your offer on the recently sold prices of similar houses in the area. You may be able to offer a lesser price if these homes have sold for much less than the seller is asking. On the other side, the property is undervalued if they frequently sell for more. In this situation, you could think about making a slightly higher offer to outbid any potential rival purchasers.

Do you want to know the value of a property? You may get a fast estimate using our free, online value calculator, which incorporates data from the local economy. Try it now.

How much do you want this specific property for?

If a certain house has captured your heart or you have not been able to find any others that meet all of your requirements for a new home, you may opt to make a little higher offer to avoid losing the property.

What additional expenses might I expect?

The expense of purchasing a home is not limited to the purchase price. Legal fees, stamp duty, land tax, survey fees, moving expenses, and any upkeep or furnishing you choose to perform once you move in must also be taken into account. Moving to a larger home may result in an increase in your regular expenses like utilities, council tax, and service fees. When determining how much you can manage to spend on the purchase and maintenance of your new house, consider this.

What is affordable?

Regardless matter how much you like a certain home, you must stay within your budget. The long-term financial effects of purchasing a property that is more expensive than you can afford to include unmanageable monthly mortgage payments, upkeep charges, or a lack of emergency funds.

What is the seller’s position?

A seller will often be more inclined to accept a lesser offer if they must act fast.

Even if their bid is smaller, you can discover that a seller would prefer chain-free or cash purchasers above others. Chain-free and cash purchasers are more mobile and less likely to slip through the cracks than those in lengthy networks. Therefore, you are in a particularly good position if you are a first-time buyer, for instance.

As a general rule, an offer that is 5–10% below the asking price of a property is acceptable in England and Wales. The protocol is a little different in Scotland, where many estate agents may ask for “offers over” (or “OIEO”) a certain sum.

A modest offer is more likely to be accepted if:

The property has been up for sale for a while.

Already, the seller had to lower the price to generate interest.

The seller wants to relocate as soon as possible (for instance, they are a chain or they have to move for employment).

There is no rivalry from other customers.

You are a first-time, cash, or chain-free shopper.

If a home is already “under offer,” may you still submit an offer?

Yes. A home that has previously been identified as “under offer” may still be the subject of an offer. Up to the point at which the buyer has made a deposit and the seller has signed a contract, offers may be made.

In reality, estate agents are required by law to present any proposals they receive, regardless of how absurd, cheeky, or last-minute they may seem. This implies that you still have a chance even if the buyer has officially accepted your offer.

However, if you want to submit a last-minute offer, you will probably need to make it extremely alluring for the seller. You must be in a much better position than the present buyer or be ready to pay more than the accepted offer (eg. a completely chain-free, cash buyer).

Is sending in an offer on a house costly?

No, there is no fee associated with making an offer on a property.

A holding deposit may be required of you, but it is not required. To demonstrate that you are a serious buyer, you will often only be required to do this in a market that is highly volatile or competitive.

There are a few different kinds of holding deposits, so read the conditions carefully before committing. For instance, you should not ever provide a holding deposit to a vendor directly. Their lawyer or conveyancer should manage all financial transactions.

Although there is no price associated with making an offer on a property, you must be ready to pay all associated fees should your offer be accepted.

Set aside money for any maintenance or furnishing you want to perform when you move, as well as for any legal expenses, mortgage arrangement fees, survey charges, stamp duty, and land tax. You should set aside money for the expenditures involved in selling your house, such as estate agency fees.

Once a contract has been signed, or “exchanged,” you are bound by law to complete the house purchase. Trying to back out of a transaction beyond this stage may be very costly and frustrating.

How to increase the likelihood that your offer will be accepted

Making an offer on a property you adore may be somewhat nerve-wracking. Fortunately, you can take a few steps to boost the likelihood that the seller will accept it:

Consider the seller’s position.

It goes without saying that if an offer checks as many of the seller’s boxes as feasible, it will be more attractive. A little amount of investigation into what they are searching for may help a lot. How quickly do they hope to sell? Can you adjust the completion date to accommodate their schedule? For how long have they been available? A seller may be more willing to accept less than the asking price if the property has been listed for a while online.

Make your case as the best buyer.

Keep in mind that your offer is not only about the money. It is important to speak up for oneself, both financially and practically. An indication that you are a genuine buyer who will not create delays is, for instance, proving that you are prepared to move swiftly by having a mortgage in principle in place and a conveyancing business ready to go. Make careful to advertise the fact that you are a first-time buyer.

Do your research

Your chances of getting your offer accepted will also increase if you do some research on the property and the surrounding neighborhood. To support your offer, you may include local housing market data as well as prospective future construction projects that may influence the property (such as a new highway or tower). Instead of making an arbitrary offer and a certain % below the asking price, this shows that you have carefully analyzed the property’s genuine worth.

Remember that the seller is the estate agent’s customer.

Even while it could be tempting, keep in mind that the agent handling the property is ultimately trying to obtain the best price for the seller. For instance, if you inform a real estate agent that your first offer is not the most you can go, the agent will only urge the buyer to hang out for a better offer from you.

Politeness goes a long way

An offer is just the beginning of a sensitive diplomatic procedure when negotiating the purchase of a property. You will stand out if you are well-prepared with all the facts up front, maintain composure if your initial offer is rejected, and explore in depth how you may come to an agreement. The seller will feel more confident that the conveyancing procedure will go well if they recognize you as a reputable and well-organized buyer.

If you’re looking to sell or let your home with a Lee On the Solent Estate Agent, Stubbington Estate Agent, Gosport Estate Agent, Fareham Estate Agent, Portsmouth Estate Agent then please do no hesitate to email on or call on 023 93 960 169.

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